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Cavities do not go away on their own. If a cavity is left untreated, you could lose the tooth, or develop an infection that will be painful and could have a serious effect on your health. You may try to ignore a cavity for a while, but at some point, it will need to be treated by a dentist. The type of filling you will receive will depend on the size of the cavity, and the tooth in which it is located.

Amalgam fillings have been in use for many years. They contain mercury tin, copper, zinc and silver. In many cases, about half of the filling is mercury, but the FDA has said that those fillings are safe for patients older than six years. They are silver, but turn grey over time. They are however, relatively inexpensive and because of their strength, are good fillings for back teeth.

Another sturdy material is gold, but gold fillings take longer to place than amalgam, and are more expensive. A porcelain filling has the advantage of a natural look, but porcelain is more fragile than metal, and may be a pricey option. Composite or tooth-colored fillings are made of powdered glass and porcelain, and are shaded to blend in with the rest of your tooth. However, they take some time to place as well, and they are not as strong as amalgam or golf. For children with cavities in their baby teeth, talk to your dentist about using a glass ionomer, or a resin filling.

No matter what material is best for you, if you have a cavity in need of attention, you should plan a visit with our dentist, Dr. Sheldon Kupferman. To schedule an appointment at Riverdale Dental Arts in Riverdale, New York, call 718-548-1148 today and let’s get you smiling again!